You Don’t Even Have a Name

What a bunch of whiny, entitled bitchery. Outing somebody because he said you were wrong? Automatic fail.

Honestly. I try to tell the newspaper kids I talk to about this kind of stuff all the time: someone criticizes you, why get into a two-week shitfight over where your critic went to school, who he “really” is, whether he’s taken as many classes as you, etc etc? It just makes you look like a petty asshole. Why not instead focus on the substance of the criticism: Does this person, even if he goes by iLikeBigJugs553, have a point about some fact or interpretation of fact that I have published?

If so, either incorporate that into your next bit of work, correct the current post, or just resolve not to be such a dumbass in the future. If not, then ignore it because nobody cares. I mean, I know we bag on the Freepi a lot around here but during that week when they all called me an ugly whore, would it have benefitted me in any way to post sexy photos of myself and then demand they do the same so we could see who truly lived up to standards of physical beauty? So much easier to point, mock, and move on.

You hear this constantly from mainstream media pundits sniping back at bloggers, too: Oh yeah, well who are YOU, Mr. Imginary Internet Person, to point out the sky is not purple as I quoted Newt Gingrich saying it is but is in fact blue? You don’t have a paycheck! I mean, so why? The sky is either blue or it isn’t. I do not understand the impulse to prolong one’s embarrassment at making a mistake by wanking about the credentials of the person who pointed it out. Except for that, of course, it makes the argument about something other than how you screwed up.

Take what’s useful about the criticism you get and use it, even if it comes from some anonymous asshole on the Internet. Shove the rest.


9 thoughts on “You Don’t Even Have a Name

  1. It makes the argument about something other than how you screwed up.
    There’s a lot of that going around.
    Thing of it is, if journalism and jurisprudence are to fully rebound after years of subversion and obfuscation, if we are ever as a nation going to regain momentum to “look ahead and move forward,” we can all expect a few go rounds of outing the truth. It is sheer duplicity to expect otherwise.
    Anyone with an ounce of integrity will not be comfortable resting on their laurels or even allowing the argument to stand pat on some, as you say, petty jackholishness about who is laureled and who is not. That in itself is a strawman.
    Disciplined thought requires tolerance of ambiguity and resisting premature foreclosure regarding systemic issues. Again, it behooves us to examine whether the Internet is ever going to evolve into being an effective tool for holding institutions accountable, not just individuals. Cultures are cultivated by methods. And methods are as much a focal point as the people who are their conduits. To wit, Comey’s buyer’s remorse. He was pressured, Gonzo was pressured. And if you’re going to single out individuals, you better be willing to use your collective might to take it all the way to the top instead of this idiocy of punting down to the lowest levels.
    When somebody says to shove a strawman, it’s a step towards potentiating critical mass (of sorts).
    Health nuts know there are cumulative and unavoidable benefits to a steady diet of straw…

  2. typing a message on an internet chat room]
    Jay: All you motherfuckers are gonna pay. You are the ones who are the ball-lickers. We’re gonna fuck your mothers while you watch and cry like little bitches. Once we get to Hollywood and find those Miramax fucks who are making that movie, we’re gonna make ’em eat our shit, then shit out our shit, then eat their shit which is made up of our shit that we made ’em eat. Then all you motherfucks are next. Love, Jay and Silent Bob.

  3. Take what’s useful about the criticism you get and use it, even if it comes from some anonymous asshole on the Internet. Shove the rest.
    Oh, sure, easy for you to say. *You’re* a grown-up.

  4. The most pathetic thing about his endless series of pathetic complaints, to my mind, is that on the Internet, your pseudonym is your “brand,” so to speak, at least a lot of the time. Hells, I’ve been using the same damn consistent pseudonym foreleven years online, and the fact that I’ve been doing so makes iteasier (not harder) to figure out who I really am, in that anyone searching for my legal name is, uh, going to find a British film star and a well-known fantasy artist and a lawyer long before they find me. (I know. I’ve looked.)
    Shit, man, mypseudonym, eleven years old, has more Internetual street cred than whatever permutation of Whatsisface’s legal name he’s using this minute. Chew on that.

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